Two US warships move into Taiwan Strait

Two US warships move into Taiwan Strait

Two US warships move into Taiwan Strait

Taiwan, which has grown closer to the U.S. under the Trump administration, said that its military "is monitoring the situation in neighbouring areas, and has the confidence and abilities to maintain regional stability and defend national security".

"Two US Navy ships conducted a routine transit through the global waters of the Taiwan Strait on July 7-8 (local time)", Captain Charlie Brown, a spokesman for US Pacific Fleet, told Reuters in a statement.

Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown called the passage of the ships "a routine transit".

Two US guided-missile destroyers, the USS Mustin (DDG-89) and the USS Benfold (DDG-65), transited the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan's southern exclusive economic zone earlier yesterday on an apparent northeasterly course, the Ministry of National Defense said last night. The maneuvers come as an unravelling trade spat ramps up tension between Washington and Beijing.

China said it was hitting back with retaliatory measures on U.S. goods but did not immediately provide precise details.

Two US warships passed through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday on a voyage that will likely be viewed in the self-ruled island as a sign of support by President Donald Trump amid heightened tension with China.

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The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war.

Although the United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and biggest arms supplier.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of the Chinese Civil War almost 70 years ago.

The communist government in Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

A growing number of global airlines and companies were also forced to change Taiwan's name to "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei" due to pressure from Beijing.

The objective is to draw a line to prevent China from damaging the regional "status quo", as Beijing attempts to challenge it, the source said.

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